Talking Deadly: Pathfinders

Past Event

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 - 6pm to 7pm

Pathfinders: A History of NSW Aboriginal Trackers

With Dr Michael Bennett

Trackers played an essential and under-acknowledged role in policing, using their traditional bush knowledge to capture bushrangers, run down cattle thieves and find people lost in the bush. Back at the police station, trackers looked after the horses and some were skilled horse-breakers. Trackers such as Alex Riley and Frank Williams worked for over 40 years, although controversially were denied a pension upon retirement. 

Dr Michael Bennett will speak about the incredible histories of NSW Aboriginal trackers, and will also touch on the ongoing project that is inviting community members to record their own stories about tracker history.  

Dr Michael Bennett is a Senior Historian with NTSCORP where he conducts historical research for native title claims. He developed a passion for tracker history while growing up in Dubbo and hearing stories about Tracker Alex Riley who worked for the NSW Police for 40 years. He has also launched a fascinating interactive website: on the history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW.

 This talk is part of Talking Deadly: Indigenous Voices at the Library, an exciting new bi-monthly speaker series held at the State Library of New South Wales on the last Wednesday of every second month.

Join leading historians, academics, artists, conservationists and knowledge keepers as they shine a spotlight on the fascinating histories, politics and cultural initiatives that continue to shape contemporary Indigenous Australia.

The next Talking Deadly event will be held on 31 May 2017… stay tuned!

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